Heavy Lifting

Jet Airways’ valuation may appear attractive but that won't be enough for the stock to take off


Sunny Leone may have  found herself in midst of a controversy over her scheduled New Year’s performance in Bengaluru, but the Bollywood actor stoked a fire of her own after she tweeted about the lousy performance of the country’s second-largest full-service airline. A frequent flyer, Leone recently tweeted, “Seriously, it’s crazy the amount of delays @jetairways is having every day. Was on a plane all week and usually only with Jet but everyday was delayed at least 1hr. Ruined my week of sleep! Something needs to be done.”

It is not just Sunny Leone’s sleep that Jet Airways has been ruining. With one-third of its aircraft failing to take-off or land on time in October, Jet Airways has been faring poorly on its on-time performance. This performance has been calculated on the basis of data from four major airports — Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Facing such reputational risks at a time when the aviation sector, after a dud phase, is seeing a turnaround in its fortunes is hurting Jet Airways in more ways than one. For its part, Jet Airways has recently laid out a road map to cut its operating costs. While the stock has definitely gained from the overall euphoria surrounding the sector, analysts continue to remain sceptical on the airline’s ability to take off.

Full flight
The aviation industry has seen a good year among domestic flyers, with a healthy growth of 17.27% during January-November 2017. In fact India saw the highest-ever number of domestic flyers in the month of October. According to DGCA data, 10.4 million people flew within the country in October. This along with low crude prices has given the aviation industry a fresh lease of life. 

No wonder, this renewed optimism is reflected in the price of airline stocks. Over the past two years, SpiceJet has gained 197%. followed by Jet Airways (67%) and InterGlobe Aviation (52%). These gains have come after a long and painful wait for investors. The past 10-year period was marked by poor load factors, high fuel prices, low fares and expensive financing, which cost the aviation industry around Rs.42,000 crore. Even as the industry is enteri


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